What the Flippin' Heck Do We Do With These Mormons? Reaching and Teaching Evangelical Students
With the rise of recent presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, so-called "evangelicals" have been thrust into the lime light. Though at universities, evangelical students are hardly new. College English departments, notoriously liberal, have typically shunned religious students. Thus beginning composition classes aim to free recent high school graduates from their seemingly oppressed and anodyne public educations. Teachers try to enlighten these new learners, to remove their rose-tinted glasses, and to get them thinking critically. These students are coming of age, exploring their independence, and testing their new voices and ideas. So when Jesus appears in their papers, even seasoned English professors get nervous; we question if eighteen year olds are mature enough to be spiritual. In this paper I, a confessed Mormon adjunct--though hardly a right wing conservative--will explain my evolution of teaching students of various religious beliefs. After Huckabee and Romney have disappeared from the water cooler, the papers on conversion will continue to surface. Students will write these papers regardless of how much professors try to indoctrinate them to academia; instructors, as I did, will need to learn how to deal.
Keywords: Beginning Writers, Religion, Evangelical
University of Cincinnati